Twitter is in turmoil after its recent $44 billion deal with Tesla CEO Elon Musk and SpaceX’s Elon Musk. This includes layoffs and policy changes, but most importantly, it could be on the hook to pay hundreds of millions.
In a class-action lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, a former Twitter employee, who has been laid off by the company more than 500 times since Musk became CEO, claimed that Twitter failed to pay severance payments of at least $500,000,000 to its former staff.
The lawsuit filed by the large group in June sought damages of up to $25 million. They claimed that users were posting audio clips and video clips which contained copyrighted material.
Twitter parent company, X Corp, sued the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz—hired by the platform’s former management—earlier this month for a $90 million payment that Twitter argued should be paid back, according to a filing.
A December lawsuit from a private jet company alleged Twitter refused to pay $197,725 for a flight that transported the company’s former chief marketing officer Leslie Berland—a claim attorneys for Twitter countered, asserting the executive was overcharged for the round trip used to meet with Musk when he was settling into the company.
Twitter is also being accused in a class-action suit filed at the beginning of July that it has refused to deal with 891 cases submitted by ex-staffers.
Unpaid office fees have also reportedly become a problem for Twitter, which was sued by an Australian infrastructure company last week, which accused it of failing to pay more than $600,000 in infrastructure work bills for offices in multiple countries—the sixth office-related lawsuit Twitter has faced since Musk’s takeover.
Following the launch of Meta’s rival app, Threads, Twitter threatened to sue Meta over the “copycat” app, claiming it misused Twitter’s “trade secrets and other intellectual property” and poached former Twitter staffers to do so.
$15 billion. That’s how much Fidelity valued Twitter at in May—a third of the money forked over by Musk for his purchase of the platform last year.
Twitter’s legal disputes have been one of several obstacles the platform has faced since it Musk bought it. A number of the platform’s largest advertisers left it in early 2018. Twitter’s U.S. advertising revenue in April was $88 million, down 59% from the same month last year—a stat that surfaced a few months after Musk claimed the site was “breaking even.” Twitter has also endured a series of outages and glitches that have temporarily left users without the ability to post tweets, load images and share external links. In the midst of its troubles, Meta’s rival app, Threads, launched July 5. Instagram lead Adam Mosseri said in an interview with the Verge that Twitter’s “volatility” and “unpredictability” under Musk is what created an opening for Meta to compete with Twitter through the launch of Threads.
The Key Background
Musk’s ownership of Twitter is just one source of legal troubles for the billionaire. The billionaire’s Tesla and SpaceX companies have seen a constant revolving-door of lawsuits, with mixed results. Tesla was accused of failing to act on harassment and discrimination claims. The complaint was filed not long after California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed suit against Tesla, accusing it of discriminating against Black workers. In April, a former Tesla worker was awarded $3 million following an extensive lawsuit that claimed the company’s work environment to be racist. Musk, Tesla and SpaceX were also sued for $258 billion for an alleged dogecoin “Pyramid Scheme” last year. Musk asked a federal judge to throw out the case in April, with attorneys saying the “court should put a stop to plaintiffs’ fantasy and dismiss the complaint.” Musk won a court case in February when a jury found that he wasn’t liable for defrauding Tesla shareholders through tweets suggesting he would take the company private.
Musk has a net-worth of approximately $245.6 billion, which is estimated to be the highest in the entire world.
Former employees sueing Twitter say it’s not cooperating on arbitration, and asks to keep case in court (SME)
Twitter Threatens Lawsuit Against Meta Over ‘Copycat’ Threads App (SME)
SME Paid Under